As the crisis in Greece continues to unfold, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, who is a professor of economics and sits on the European Parliament’s Economics Committee, has issued a statement. She said:
“People in Greece are suffering because they are the victims of financial markets and not the authors of their own fate. I am appalled at the suggestion that pensioners should see their incomes cut and the poor should face paying more for energy just so that distant creditors can benefit.
“I applaud the decision of the Greek people to vote for a positive alternative to the politics of austerity and I support their right to democratic self-determination.
“In the months since the Greek election the negotiations have made clear that the Eurozone is actually a neoliberal disciplining device. We are all suffering attacks on our democratic and social rights because of neoliberal ideology but Greece is the most extreme example. We need to stand in solidarity and resist the attacks on these rights which we have taken for granted for 70 years.
“Greece cannot pay its debts and a restructuring and debt forgiveness, based on the legal principle that recognises some of the debt as ‘odious’, is urgently needed.
“What happens in Greece is of vital importance to Europe and the world because democracy is being tested. If the EU challenges the democratic will of the people in order to allow the greed, wealth and power of financiers and corporations to prevail this represents a serious threat to the very principle of democracy.”
The Ecologist Green Party in Greece is part of the Syriza coalition government that has promised a referendum on Sunday asking Greek citizens if they will or will not support further austerity proposals. Molly is pushing for the solutions proposed by the Greens in Europe which include a special debt conference to agree debt cancellation for Greece and a ‘Green Recovery plan’. Dr Scott Cato added:
“Austerity has enforced terrible human suffering in Greece. Rather than adding further chapters to this Greek tragedy, The EU could and should be helping to unlock the huge potential Greece has for economic recovery by supporting investment in sustainable sectors of the economy. With the right investment, Greece could become the EU’s largest exporter of green energy, helping other countries meet their EU renewables targets while simultaneously helping the Greek economy to recover.”